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Virginia Beach, which interestingly wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1963, has been considered the largest city in Virginia with approximately 500 square miles of land area and a population of 438,000. Guinness Book of World Records has listed the city with having the longest ‘pleasure beach’ on the planet that stretches 35 miles long and includes the Sandbridge area, the North End, and the densely populated boardwalk, touristy area. The original boardwalk was constructed out of wooden planks and only covered a 5 block spread, today, the now cement boardwalk is 3 miles long and 28 feet wide.
Virginia Beach is home to 3.5 military bases including NAS Oceana, NAB Little Creek, FTC Dam Neck, and the half, which is Fort Story. It also has the longest bridge- tunnel complex in existence- the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a 23 mile long fixed structure that allows the passage over to the Eastern Shore and up through Maryland and Delaware.
Virginia Beach has a total of 208 parks with the most renowned being Mount Trashmore. This is one of the largest landfills in the U.S. measuring 60 feet high and 800 feet long and has since been turned into a city park where hundreds of people will be caught there on a nice day flying kites, running around the 1.95 mile long track, playing on one of the various playgrounds, or skateboarding on one of the ramps the park has to offer. Virginia Beach is widely visited each year by millions of people; in 2016 there was 15.2 million recorded guests that flocked here throughout the year and each, on average, spending $1,955 during their stay.
If the beaches, the parks, or the endless things to do to keep you busy hasn’t drawn you into this area, then what about the fact the 20th century psychic Edgar Cayce (the “Greatest Psychic of All Time”) chose Virginia Beach to be his headquarters because he has predicted it to be the safest place in the world to be when the continents change shape. Not to mention, the widely known 700 club and CBN- The Christian Broadcasting Network, is taped here by owner, and Virginia Beach resident, evangelist Pat Robertson.
“Staples” of the Virginia Beach Community:
The Boardwalk- voted the 5th best in the U.S.
Neptune Statue- located on the boardwalk at 31st street, stands 34 feet, weighs 12.5 tons and is made entirely out of bronze.
Mount Trashmore- 165 acre park located centrally in the city and has 3 trails, 12 picnic areas, a skateboard park, several playgrounds, two lakes where fishing is allowed, and 4 volleyball courts.
Waterman’s Restaurant- Established in 1981 and known for their famous creation of the ‘Orange Crush’. This seafood restaurant is has been a community favorite for years. They host an annual “Crush Fest or Crush-n-Country” where their signature drink is celebrated, and enjoyed (responsibly) all day long.
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier- a popular fishing pier that has several shops, a restaurant and beautiful views of the area that is open seasonally for the summer.
Breweries- Virginia Beach has several great options for local craft beer: Gordon Biersch, Reaver Beach, Home Republic, Commonwealth, Young Veterans, Wasserhund, Pleasure House, and the new and very impressive Green Flash Brewing Company.
Festivals: There are hundreds of events and festivals in Virginia Beach each year, particularly during the summer. The biggest being: the Neptune Festival: is the largest annual special event in the Commonwealth of Virginia (400,000 people) and occurs in the last weekend in September. Sand art competitions, vendors, and food and beverages provide endless things to keep you busy and is of course family friendly. North American Sand Soccer Championships: A 200,000 participant and spectator festival hosted annually to kick off the summer. It also hosts a competition with the world’s most elite beach soccer players. The Patriotic Festival: A weekend full of concerts and some of the most trending names in country music, and a tribute to this areas military service men and women. East Coast Surfing Championships: the second longest consecutively running surfing competition in the world. Surfers from all over the world gather here for the weekend to compete for the winning title. This event is sponsored by ‘Vans’ and offers a 5k, a swimsuit competition, street and ramp skate contests, and recreational sports such as volleyball.
Virginia Aquarium/ Adventure Park: A total of 800,000 gallons of water, 10,000 mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles and over 300 species represented here at the aquarium. A new 6 acre spread adventure park was recently added with 15 different trails, 20 zip lines, and 165 challenging crossings made of rope, cable, and wood.
Ocean Breeze Waterpark: this park that has been open since 1974 now has over 30 rides, slides, and attractions. The park offers, day passes along with season tickets for fun all summer long.
The Cavalier Hotel: Construction began in 1926 and took 13 months to complete. 10 U.S. Presidents have been guests at the hotel along with countless celebrities and distinguished people of influence. The hotel has since been added to the National Register of
Historic Places. In 2014 the restoration of the Cavalier began and has reopened its doors as of February 2018. The once 195 guest rooms have been reduced to 85 more spacious, updated rooms. It has a spa, a golf course, an onsite distillery, a world renowned beach club, and several restaurants to choose from.
Town Center: Consists of dozens of different kinds of clothing, home decor, and confectionary shops, scattered with restaurants of all scales, all in between luxury condos with free parking to boot. There is something for everyone in the popular Town Center area of Virginia Beach.
First Landing State Park:Located at the North end of virginia Beach, it commemorates the 1607 landing of the Virginia Company at Cape Henry. It's a 2,888 acre area that offers camping, cabins, picnic areas, 19 miles of trails for hiking and biking, a lighthouse, fishing, and boating.